How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Gilbert AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Gilbert AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Gilbert AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Gilbert AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Gilbert AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Gilbert AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Gilbert AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Gilbert AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Gilbert AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Gilbert AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Gilbert AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Gilbert Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Gilbert AZ.